How to Find Free Money for College

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How to Find Free Money For College

If you have considered attending college, the chances are figuring out how to pay for college are at the top of your list. The good news is that there are plenty of free resources you can tap into to assist you in your journey to becoming a college graduate with a small amount of debt. 


We will be kicking off this weekly series by diving into the Pell Grant program.


What is the Pell Grant? 

The Federal Pell Grant program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students, and in some cases post-baccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. The best part about the Pell Grant is that it never needs to be repaid. Amounts vary year to year. The current maximum amount is $6,495 for the 2022–23 award year  (July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023). 


You can receive the Pell Grant for no more than 12 terms or the equivalent (roughly six years). 


What factors are considered when determining eligibility for the Pell Grant? 

First things first: You may not receive the Pell Grant from multiple institutions at the same time.  While some exceptions are made, this grant is primarily for undergraduate students. Other factors that are considered: 


  • Financial Need.
  • Cost of attendance,
  • Status as a full-time or part-time student, and
  • Plans to attend school for a full academic year or less


How Can I Apply for the Pell Grant?

To find out your eligibility to receive financial aid under the Pell Grant, the first step is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After you finish your FAFSA, your school will then inform you how much money you may be eligible for that academic year.


Important deadlines for your application can be found here. It is important to note that while deadlines vary state to state you should plan ahead by getting your FAFSA done for the upcoming school year in the spring of each year.  


Once you input your FAFSA information, you have completed the first step in determining your eligibility for the Pell Grant as well as other loans and scholarships. Even if you think that you or your parents make too much money to be considered, it is worth filling out. 


How Will I Receive The Funds? 

Your school will disperse the funds to you by applying the credit directly to your tuition, paying you directly or a combination of these two. You can contact your school’s financial aid office directly to find out how they handle disbursements of funds. 


Where Can I ask Questions and get more information?

Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at the following toll-free number:

1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243)


TTY users for the hearing impaired can call:



Callers in locations without access to 800 numbers may call this non toll-free number:


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